Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lyla on Leila

in this post.
Long ago I wrote to Lyla that my granddaughter Leila, after seeing the crescent moon said "The moon is broken". Recently she told her mother that she was angry with her. When the mother said that she should not be angry without any reason, the response was "Mom! I can get angry with you whenever I like". Lyla's resonse to the two comments is this:
బుల్లి మేధావీ
జాబిల్లి విరిగిందటా :-)
ఎందుకటా! ఎందుకటా?
అల్లరి ఆరిందావీ
అమ్మతోటె పోట్లాటా
మాటకు తిరుగు మాటా
ఎందుకటా! ఎందుకటా?
గులాబీ పూదావీ
ఆవేశం వేడియటా
ఆగ్రహం కూడదటా
అవునా? ఆనందబాంధవీ

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gummadi no more

Veteran Telugu actor Gummadi Venkateswara Rao passed away on January 26, 2010.
Here is a long Interview With Gummadi Venkateswara Raoin nine parts from 2007.

Concentration of power

Jeff Strabone in Post-Shame:
"It seems to me that over the past decade, in the United States, the state and a narrow circle of powerful interests—banks, energy companies, and private health insurers in particular—have simply given up trying to persuade the rest of us that their interests were our interests. Could we be moving in the twenty-first century to a state that practices domination without hegemony? Or, to put it in plain English, will the state shamelessly turn itself completely over to serving the interests of a powerful few without bothering to pretend that it's not? And if it does, how should we respond?"

Arnold King in Why the U.S. is Ungovernable:
"The theory is that there is a discrepancy between trends in knowledge and power. Power in the United States is remarkably concentrated. We are creating increasingly specialized knowledge, which means that the information needed to make good decisions is located outside of Washington, D.C. And yet we have a central government attempting to do for 300 million people what governments in places like Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, and Switzerland do for many fewer people.
These days, most of the people who complain that the U.S. is ungovernable are looking for solutions that would allow progressive technocrats to be even more powerful. I believe that the solution is to decentralize government, so that the U.S. becomes a federation of hundreds of Swiss-style cantons, each of which can be governed differently, but reasonably effectively."

A new science blog in Indian languages

Kaleiodoscope, link via
Science in Telugu

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inguva Mallikarjuna Sharma's blog

Kuffir links to this comprehensive artice My 2004 article on the Telangana issue
By Inguva Mallikarjuna Sharma. Updated versions started on December 18
I. Mallikarjuna Sharma's article: FOR A UNITED ANDHRA-TELANGANA-SEEMA (Part-1) in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 December 2009 issue .
The comments in the post SEPARATION IS NO SOLUTION by I. Mallikarjuna Sharma has an interesting discussion on data and statistics. In Kuffir's post Ved has links to a study on India's most backward districts:
India’s most backward districts: List of 1997 Sarma Committee.
P.S. Anant Maringanti in EPW Telangana: Righting Historical Wrongs or Getting the Future Right?

Friday, January 22, 2010

More than just crossed senses in synaesthesia

From MindHacks post Beyond crossed senses in synaesthesia:
"If colour-speech synaesthesia works only through crossed-senses then the McGurk effect should make no difference to the colours because the exact same sound is played each time, but if this form of synaesthesia is triggered by meaning, the colours should differ because the McGurk effect changes which words are perceived and understood, despite the identical sound.

This is exactly what the researchers found, providing additional evidence that synaesthesia is not just a sensory confusion, it is based in how the brain understands meaning."
P.S. Another intersting post in MindHacks Hard as Nails. Excerpt:
"A builder aged 29 came to the accident and emergency department having jumped down on to a 15 cm nail. As the smallest movement of the nail was painful he was sedated with fentanyl and midazolam. The nail was then pulled out from below. When his boot was removed a miraculous cure appeared to have taken place. Despite entering proximal to the steel toecap the nail had penetrated between the toes: the foot was entirely uninjured.
This isn't really the nocebo effect, where 'side-effects' appear after having taken nothing but a placebo, but more similar to what doctors might describe in its persistent form as somatisation disorder where physical symptoms appear that aren't explained by tissue damage.

However, both are similar in that real pain arises from beliefs, expectations and perceptions. We now know that all pain has a significant mental component and, consequently, psychological therapy is an effective treatment for chronic pain."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A nation which helped Simon Bolivar

Rahul Siddharthan has a two posts on Haiti . Rahul links to this article which fills in some gaps in the Wikipedia article Oh Haiti

P.S. More links in The Bayesian Heresy post Oh Haiti .

Monday, January 18, 2010

Two links, January 17, 2010

Daniel Little on some experimental findings in Civic engagement and formative institutions:
"These are surprising findings. The TFA (Teach For Ameria)population as a whole shows a higher level of civic engagement than the general population. But within the TFA population, the graduates lag. "
Felix Salmon in The limits of Mirofinane:
"Richard Rosenberg has a good new paper — short, clear, summarized here — saying that the jury is very much still out on whether or not microfinance helps improve the incomes of the poor. But even if it doesn’t help the poor out of poverty, it still does a great deal of good in terms of giving them tools to deal with poverty."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Discussion on decentralization

Kuffir has several posts on Telangana and in the posts and some of the post comments, there are useful discussions on decentralization. As far as I can see from the posts, the thrust is to enpower people and some of the ideas are similar to those of Jayaprakash Narayan of Loksatta and the idea of subsidiarity. See in particular the discussion and comments in the posts it's the economy, stupid and dr.ambedkar on the reorganization of states

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sushi Das on Indian students in Australia

From It's simple: India doesn't want to see its citizens harmed by Sushi Das:
"... first, that Australia has a crime problem in the suburbs that it must attend to, and second, that India is within its rights to speak out when its citizens face danger."
There is also a discussion in Death Ends Fun during which Michiel Bass's thesis on Indian students in Australia covering the period 2005-2009 came up:Imagined Mobility. He has also two articles:Cash Cows from 2005 and Voices from Down Under written in June 2009. I have not yet read the thesis; the students he met seem to be mostly those who had English medium in schools. The thesis was completed in October 2009 and there is a postscript on the more recent outbreaks of violence. He seems to think there has been rapid change in the situation since 2005. I understand that there is an Australian blog with suburb wise statistics on the violence but I have not located it yet.
P.S. {January 20)From the Victorian police chief We've known for two years about Indian attacks: Overland :
"We recognised this problem a long time before it hit the public.

"We have known for two years that there has been this issue and we have been working away, at a number of levels around engaging with students, trying to make them understand the risks and how they keep themselves safe."

Mr Overland said police had detailed data on attacks involving Indians and said that while Indians were over represented when it came to robberies, the same could not be said for assaults.

About 50 per cent of assaults on Indians occurred in their workplace, mostly involving taxi drivers and convenience store clerks, he said.

Mr Overland said some of the attacks were racist.

"I have said from day one undoubtedly some of these attacks have a racist motive or there is racist elements to these attacks," he said.

"Regardless of who they are, what they are, what colour they are, what occupation they are, my job is to make the state as safe as I can for everyone."
P.P.S. (January 23rd) Sushi Das has two informative articles in The Age today:
Advice on Indian students ignored
Hard lessons to be learnt
Conservative leader's reaction:
Immigrant support hit by gangs: Abbott

Monday, January 11, 2010

Perception of distance

In Motivated reality MindHacks links to two papers on how the 'perception of distance to an object was altered by how much someone wanted it' and to this post describing the
Desire influences visual perception describing a recent study. It seems that even if one cannot always get what one wants, it appears nearer than it is.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Marxist views of the recent financial crisis

A survey by Joseph Choonara Marxist accounts of the current crisis. It is one of the several links from comments (72) in John Quiggin's CT post Marxian economics MIA?.
There is also a discussion of the topic in
John Quiggin's blog and Economist's View Can Marxian Economics Explain the Crisis?.
The 2009 March 28 issue of EPW (issue 13) has a few articles on the crisis including The Recent Crisis in Global Capitalism:Towards a Marxian Understanding by Vamsi Vakulabharanam.

P.S. Stanford Encyclopedia article on Karl Marx by Jonathan Wolff, the author of Why Read Marx Today?
P.S. A one paragraph comment in Who are these economists, anyway? by James Galbraith.

On neighbourhood diversity

Marginal Revolution links to a study in Hyderabad on mixed housing Evidence from India on neighborhood diversity. The paper says "As India expands public housing for the poor to accommodate rapid urbanization, deliberate mixing of religious groups can be a way of improving attitudes toward the religious minority." Muslims are about 40 percent in Hyderabad and thus not really a minority, but I like the recommendation.